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When you hear that someone has lost custody of their children to the Government, what goes through your mind?  Do you automatically put them in the bad parent category? Do you mentally come up with excuses that you will use to deny playdates? Do you come to the conclusion that they are not a good person?

So many times people go directly to judgement-mode and do not stop and think what it could mean for the parent.  This then starts a negative chain reaction.

Why don’t we stop and think about the situation without jumping to the judging? Is it because it’s the quickest thing to do rather than using critical thinking and a compassionate heart.

Think Before You Judge

There is so much to consider:

False Accusations

Firstly, they could be innocent and be the victim of false allegations because people had a vendetta, such as an ex wanting the children to himself. As allegations do not have to have a name attached to them it is not hard to make it look like several people have had the same concerns.  The onus is on the person that had the children removed to prove innocence and if the Government Department takes hearsay over outright proof, or take their speculations as gospel or even show favouritism toward one party over another, it is very hard to prove innocence.

Do You Know The Full Story?

If there is merit to the reasons for child removal, can we still sit there and judge? There could be reasons that this has happened. The person might be struggling with mental health issues or illness.  They might need help and have been consciously or unconsciously crying out for help.  Does that still give anyone the right to pass judgement?  Unless you know the full story you really cannot make a call.  How do you know that one day that might not be you…because people do make slip ups.

Parents Are Often Not Believed

These families are already stigmatised as it is because of what’s happened. Lots of families do not get any support from the Government, whether they are at fault or not.  They are subjected to life completely becoming unbalanced by random inspections and heart-wrenching interrogations.  There is the chance that one small thing can mean they lose their children.  It does not take much, just the right words spoken (true or not) and they just get their children taken off them.  And it only takes something small for visitation to be suspended as it all comes down to someone’s word over the parents and more times than not, the other person’s word, the ones against the parent, are the ones that are believed.

Grieving

However, regardless of the situation, you need to realise that when a person has their child removed regardless of fault, they are a parent that is grieving a loss.  Their life has just been turned upside down and they are getting a lot of judgement already from the Government.  They really do not need any more judgement or prejudice because they will already be doing this to themselves. While you celebrate birthdays and special occasions, their arms are empty and tears are falling.

We can make things easier:

Do not trash all these parents because they will be doing that themselves.

Do not judge them because you do not know everything that is doing on and everything they have done.

Do not treat them like they are contagious and you should avoid them as it’s not catchy and they need a support network.

Be there to talk to them because they are a person after all.

And if you still think that they are deserving of judgement and ostracising contemplate this:  At the end of the day the most important factor is the kids.  Does any of this behaviour really benefit them and set a good example?  Wouldn’t it be better if the child were introduced to a world of compassion? That is the biggest gift you can give to a child and the parent. And if you do one good thing you could start a chain positive chain reaction that is adopted by children as well as adults making for a better life for everyone.

What do you automatically think when you hear someone has lost custody of their kids? Do you think they are bad parents or try not to judge them? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • People can be cruel and it could be that the mother was homeless and it was not safe for the children especially now with a lot of parents sleeping in their cars as they can’t afford housing prices. The mother might of decided the children were better off with their father as they had no employment, lots of things could of happened.

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  • I think this is a really important article – I would have been guilty of making these assumptions maybe, so I’m glad to have had a reminder and more information to put me right. As I get older I understand a bit more that we rarely have the full story and we never have the right to judge other people.

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  • Unfortunately government departments get it wrong a lot of the time. I often wonder how they got employed to do their job. DCP needs overhauling .

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  • I was a carer for 30 years and yes Government departments get it wrong a lot of times!

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  • I think by default, most people would automatically assume any kids removed from a parent is due to neglect or abuse and therefore think badly of that parent.
    But judgement is so easy to do – being open minded and kind is an intentional act and seems so rare these days.

    No one knows anyone else’s battles or struggles. I think poverty plays a big part in kids removed from parents.
    Domestic violence is a huge issue most people think doesn’t happen to people like us. As in kids that go to the same school as your kids or live in the same area. Dv affects every society – well off, average or financially disadvantaged.

    In financial well off families this abuse will occur most often in covert ways – a parent controlling the other parent, controlling the kids, lying, threats, withholding money etc. It’s power and control. The other parent is left with nothing to stand on and unable to fight false accusations.

    A parent who can’t afford all the newish and best items, struggle to afford uniforms and lunches and learning materials. They require help and compassion – not kids removed. And this in turn means they can’t fight for their kids as a parent who has financial means can. Appearances can be incredibly deceptive.

    Of course any abuse or neglect means a parent absolutely should not have custody!

    But so many things can play out to leave a family struggling. And there’s no support until it’s too late.
    Even things like parental grief – losing a loved one, or depression and mental health issues, or caring for elderly parents can lead to kids being removed. With appropriate support this wouldn’t happen.

    Money and finances play a huge role here. Financially disadvantaged families will lose custody, where as well off families aren’t even looked at or investigated.

    The saying ‘everyone is fighting a battle’ is so true. It’s just the type and level of it. And no one knows what’s truly going on for someone else.

    I’d try my damndest not to assume a parent who’s kids were removed was a ‘bad parent’. Automatic o is easy. But if you don’t know the circumstances then you don’t know. Kindness and compassion should be everyone’s first response. Easier said than done and I’m certainly nowhere near perfect. But things happen in life, and not judging is my rule of thumb.

    But absolutely any case of abuse or neglect is obviously unacceptable and not applicable to what I’ve said above. I was abused as a child and have experienced many years of domestic violence, so I know the life long harm this causes.


    • So true ! Sorry you went through abuse yourself, xx

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  • We were under investigation of child protection ourselves in 2018 after my youngest got hurt in the garden whilst playing with her sibling who had shown harmful behaviours to her sister (both are foster kids under a legal guardianship order). By lack of evidence the suspicion went initially on me !! Investigations lasted about 1,5yr with end result of us being cleared. I was a stressful period and in a way scary

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  • I honestly don’t know what I would think. Growing up I believe my brother and I should have been removed from our mums “care” (dad worked huge hours so wasn’t home much, but was a good parent). But as the parent of a very high needs child I often wonder when the call will be made for me to be investigated. I’m not the best parent I will openly admit to that but nothing that would be considered out of the ordinary for the exhausted parent of a high needs child.

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  • My first thought is are they struggling for money or is it something to do with a health issue. Most likely it’s because someone has spread rumours about them and their situation. If they are into drugs or suicidal then I agree the children should be removed for their own safety. If it’s a money issue then the government should see what they can do to help not punish them by removing their children and possibly their only reason for living.

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  • I appreciate that the Family Court can get this wrong. I know of someone who had a vindictive ex and as a result vicious rumours and stories were spread. You would like to think it all comes out in the end, but it doesn’t, sadly.

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  • I would hope the truth would come out in the case of vindictive exs

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  • It’s hard, My Aunty had her kids removed at no fault of her own but a nasty vindictive ex partner, she got them back into her care after the courts realised who was actually the bad parent. The government do get things wrong sometimes.


    • The government has it wrong sometimes indeed ! Sorry your aunt had to go through this, that on itself is already rather traumatic.

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  • l believe there are always two slides to every story . l do not judge other people l only really believe something only if l have seen it for myself

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  • Yep, don’t judge others.

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  • This is a really sad scenario – this is a reminder that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

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  • Unfortunately I do automatically think poolt of the parents, however, this is mostly due to having come across children in this situation in my line of work. It’s heartbreakimg but you can see why they were removed.

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